Neymar suspended for 3 matches after clash with fan

Paris St Germain’s Neymar during a match in Paris. (Reuters)
Updated 11 May 2019

Neymar suspended for 3 matches after clash with fan

  • After Rennes beat PSG 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the final at the Stade de France, Neymar reacted angrily to a fan who was filming and verbally goading players

PARIS: Neymar won’t play again at the Parc des Princes this season.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker was given a three-game ban on Friday for lashing out at a fan following a loss in the French Cup final last month, a punishment that capped another disappointing season for the Brazilian.
The French soccer federation’s disciplinary commission added a suspended two-match ban to its punishment.
PSG said in a statement it finds the sanction “severe” and has decided with Neymar to appeal the decision.
After Rennes beat PSG 6-5 on penalties following a 2-2 draw in the final at the Stade de France, Neymar reacted angrily to a fan who was filming and verbally goading players as they walked up the stairs to collect their runner-up medals. Other PSG players, including Gianluigi Buffon and Marco Verratti, were verbally abused by the same person and ignored him.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel criticized Neymar for the spat and the Brazilian player later apologized.
The ban starts Monday, ruling Neymar out of PSG’s last two league games. He can, however, play with the French champions at Angers on Saturday.
The Brazil forward will also miss the Champions Trophy between the French champions and the French Cup winners on Aug. 3.
Neymar has also been suspended for three games by UEFA for insulting the video review officials who awarded Manchester United’s stoppage-time penalty when PSG was eliminated from the Champions League in the last 16.
Neymar became the most expensive player in the world when he moved from Barcelona to PSG for €222 million (about $250 million) in 2017.
But his two seasons with the French champions have been quite disappointing in comparison with the huge expectations.


Dakar Rally stars gear up for ‘thrilling’ Saudi race challenge

The first stage of Rally Qassim began in Umm Sidra covering a distance of 170km. Several drivers are keen to test before the Dakar Rally crosses the country for the first time in January 2020. (SPA)
Updated 18 October 2019

Dakar Rally stars gear up for ‘thrilling’ Saudi race challenge

  • French driver Stéphane Peterhansel, a 13-time winner of the Dakar Rally, revealed that he was initially surprised to hear that the competition had been moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Dakar Rally drivers are gearing up for a “thrilling and exciting” challenge when the world-famous desert race is staged in Saudi Arabia for the first time next year.
The Kingdom will host the event from Jan. 5 to 17, 2020 with top racers from around the globe traveling thousands of kilometers through inhospitable terrain in cars, trucks and on quad bikes and motorcycles.
The rally will begin in Jeddah and follow a tough route through desert, sand dunes and mountainous areas taking in NEOM, the Red Sea Project, Riyadh and Qiddiya.
French driver Stéphane Peterhansel, a 13-time winner of the Dakar Rally, revealed that he was initially surprised to hear that the competition had been moved from Africa to Saudi Arabia.
“However, after doing some research, I realized that Saudi Arabia was a very wonderful and suitable country for the rally. It has different terrain types, and I expect us to have a perfect track. The vast desert gives me hope that the 2020 Saudi Dakar Rally will be more thrilling and exciting than Africa,” he said.
Five-time Dakar Rally winner and fellow French driver, Cyril Despres, said that racing in Saudi Arabia would be a new adventure that could only be experienced by those who lived up to its challenges.
“When I heard that the Dakar Rally was moving for the first time to the Middle East, I remembered the words of its founder, Thierry Sabine, who said that if you liked exploring the African continent, you would also love exploring other parts of the world,” he added.

Positive move
British rally raid motorcycle rider, Sam Sunderland, who won his category in the 2017 Dakar Rally, said he was delighted to be participating in the Saudi race. “I believe that this change is good, as I have lived in Dubai for 10 years, having adapted well to the Middle East’s atmosphere.

When I heard that the Dakar Rally was moving for the first time to the Middle East, I remembered the words of its founder, Thierry Sabine, who said that if you liked exploring the African Continent, you would also love exploring other parts of the world.

Cyril Despres, French driver

“Exploring a new area is a positive move for the Dakar Rally, and I am certain that everyone who practices this sport is excited to explore a new ground for racing,” Sunderland added.
ED Racing Team driver, Issa Al-Dossari, said the main reason he had taken part in Rally Qassim was to prepare for the Dakar challenge.
“We will be using two cars in the rally. We look forward to raising the level of preparedness for many coming global events. But this does not mean that we will not compete for the top places.”
Al-Dossari invited sports fans to visit the team’s headquarters at Date City to see equipment and meet its members.
The team must participate in two different cars, the first driven by Al-Dossari with his French navigator Sébastien Delaunay, and the second with Emirati Abdallah Al-Huraiz behind the wheel and Ali Hassan navigating.
The first stage of Rally Qassim began on Friday in Umm Sidra covering a distance of 170 km, with stage two raced over 200 km.
Meanwhile, entry registrations for the Dakar Rally are still open in all categories at https://www.dakar.com/en/the-competitors/register.